New Rules Lead to Spike in Indiana Positives

The adoption of new model rules on medication use has led to a spike in positive tests in Indiana.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission reported Dec. 18 a total of 47 rulings for positive tests for prohibited substances or substances over threshold levels at the 2014 Indiana Grand race meet. Of the total, 24 were Thoroughbred horses and 23 were Quarter Horses. An additional 15 tests currently await adjudication, of which 11 are Thoroughbreds and four are Quarter Horses.

A number of factors contributed to the record positive count, according to Joe Gorajec, the IHRC’s executive director.

The two most significant factors were the adoption of Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Medication Rules with regulatory threshold levels for a large number of therapeutic medications, and the primary testing lab’s delay in reporting positive test results.

Earlier this year, prior to the commencement of the Indiana Grand race meet, the commission adopted the model rules. The spike in Indiana mirrored what most other racing jurisdiction reported after adopting the new rules, accorind to Gorajec.

“With the horsemen, both in Indiana and nationally, becoming acclimated to the new threshold levels and timely lab reports, I’d expect to see a substantial decline in positive tests in 2015,” Gorajec said in a statement.

The commission staff is working with the Indiana Department of Administration to issue a new Request for Proposal to identify a new lab for 2015. Commission staff, along with IDOA, will evaluate lab proposals. Pursuant to the state’s procurement process, the final selection will be made by the IDOA.

The new RFP will require the applicant lab submit an education plan geared at horsemen and veterinarians.

“Our goal is for horsemen to utilize therapeutic drugs responsibly and avoid positive tests,” said Gorajec.

A synopsis of all 2014 positive test rulings to date is provided on IHRC’s website.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89222/new-rules-lead-to-spike-in-indiana-positives#ixzz3MCpFWJKG

Indiana Grand Reports Increased Wagering

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino recently completed its 120-program meet for 2014, which included Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, with final numbers showing an increase in daily simulcast handle as well as total on-track handle.

Daily simulcast handle was up 20.2% in 2014, pulling in $4,497,951 compared with $3,741,981 in 2013. In addition, total on-track handle was up 7.4% to $8,517,278 compared with $7,927,630 in 2013. Total handle during the season was $101,246,904.

On the track, the jockey colony accepted the award for leading apprentice rider on behalf of Juan Saez, who was killed in a racing incident Oct. 14. The award will become the Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Award in honor of the 17-year-old rider from Panama.

Thoroughbred trainer Tom Amoss came off a record-setting season in 2013 to grab his fourth straight leading trainer title in 2014. The Louisiana native earned the title by a comfortable margin, winning 58 races and accumulating purse earnings in excess of $1.2 million. Amoss finished 17 wins ahead of the second-place finisher, Marvin Johnson.

In the Thoroughbred jockey standings, Fernando De La Cruz completed the season with 130 wins and purse earnings in excess of $2.8 million. Malcolm Franklin, the leading jockey in 2013, finished second behind De La Cruz with 102 wins.

Cindy Patrick also stepped into the spotlight and into the record books for leading owner honors in the Thoroughbred ranks. Horses owned by Patrick garnered 33 wins, a record for most victories in one meet by an owner. Patrick’s horses accumulated purse money in excess of $700,000.

“I am very pleased with the entire 2014 racing season at Indiana Grand,” said general manager of racing Jon Schuster. “The vast number of improvements that were implemented prior to the racing season, such as the new track surface, new Jumbotron, new outdoor food venues, and additional barns, can be attributed to the growth of our program from both a horsemen’s standpoint as well as a racing fan’s point of view.

“Although we do not record attendance, our racing facility was packed on numerous occasions throughout the year, showing an increase in interest for our racing program. And, I believe this is only the beginning as our quality of racing and additional capital upgrades are implemented.”

Indiana Grand’s signature event, the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II), was the highlight of the meet. The race was won by East Hall and jockey Luis Saez, paying a record $35.80 for the 20-year-old race. The Indiana Derby was complemented by eight other stakes races to boost purses for the night to more than $1.4 million, a new single day record for Thoroughbred racing in the state of Indiana.

Our Valid Twirl was the top Thoroughbred for the year with five wins and two seconds in 11 starts.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89215/indiana-grand-reports-increased-wagering#ixzz3MCp4JvfJ

Trainer Wells Pleads Guilty to Rigging Races

Trainer David Wells pled guilty in a Pennsylvania court of common pleas Dec. 16 to rigging races by administering drugs to horses on race day at Penn National Race Course.

Under an agreement, the guilty plea is expected to result in dismissal of federal charges against the 50-year-old trainer.

Wells had faced federal charges when he and three others at Penn National were arrested in November 2013. Wells pled guilty in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Deborah Curcillo to a charge of rigging publicly exhibited contests, in this case Thoroughbred races.

In entering the plea, Wells admitted that he orally or by hypodermic injection illegally administered drugs to horses he trained and raced to give him and his horses an advantage in the races. He also admitted that he was fully aware that this was in violation of racing rules and regulations.

Wells also said that efforts were made to conceal this activity from the public and the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. The criminal complaint alleged that the activity took place between 2008 and 2012.

Best known as the trainer of Special Eclipse Award winner Rapid Redux, Wells will face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Judge Curcillo ordered the preparation of a presentence investigation report and set sentencing for Jan. 29.

In an Oct. 14 agreement, the U.S. Attorney said any federal charges would be dismissed following a guilty plea in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. Federal authorities showed interest in the case because horse racing conducts pari-mutuel wagering across state lines.

The prosecution stemmed from an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Horse Racing Commission, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office into alleged wrongdoing in races at Penn National.

Of the four people arrested following the investigation, only the case of assistant trainer Patricia Anne Rogers continues. She is set for a federal jury trial March 9, 2015.

Daniel Robertson, the former official clocker at Penn National, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud July 22. Robertson, who entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney, received one year of probation and was fined $1,250.

Trainer Samuel Webb had wire fraud charges against him dismissed June 5. U.S. District Court Judge William Caldwell of the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed both counts of a federal indictment against Webb, saying the government’s allegations failed to meet the definitions of the two charges.

One detail that appears to be an important one in the Webb case is that the horse he allegedly injected or intended to inject with an illegal substance, Papaleo, never started as he was scratched by the stewards before the planned May 2, 2013, start at Penn National. This would have made it impossible for Webb to bet on or against his horse, or for anyone else to wager on him.

In dismissing Webb’s charges, the court agreed with Webb’s argument that the government was attempting to “convert a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law…into a federal crime.”

The Wells investigation was transferred to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution of violations of state law. Assistant United States attorney William A. Behe was specially appointed by Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico as a deputy district attorney to handle the Wells prosecution.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89220/trainer-wells-pleads-guilty-to-rigging-races#ixzz3MCor2kX6

Court Decision Threatens Illinois Racing

By Bob Kieckhefer
The Illinois Racing Board is scrambling to cope with a huge civil judgment against the state’s harness tracks that probably will push them into bankruptcy and threatens to impact Thoroughbred operations and jeopardize already dim prospects for new revenue sources.
A jury Dec. 11 awarded nearly $80 million to several casinos in a long-running court battle with Balmoral Park, Maywood Park, and owner John Johnston. The civil suit stems from charges that imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich shook down Johnston for a big campaign contribution while considering whether to sign a bill taxing casinos for the benefit of racing.
William McKenna, attorney for the tracks, told the IRB Dec. 16 that Maywood and Balmoral will seek a negotiated settlement while admitting the casinos have “never been serious” in previous talks. Failing an agreement, he said, the tracks are prepared to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which would allow them to conduct racing starting New Year’s Day.
The IRB granted racing dates to Maywood and Balmoral earlier this year and voted 8-1 Tuesday to approve conditional intertrack wagering licenses. Commissioner Kathy Byrne voted “nay” and other commissioners expressed concerns that bankruptcy court proceedings are unpredictable and could leave the tracks unable to run their dates.
“This uncertainty is terrifying,” Byrne said, warning Maywood and Balmoral could be forced to abandon their meeting on short notice if things go wrong in court.
“I’m very concerned we’re going to wind up with hundreds of horses being abandoned in January and starving,” Byrne said. “We have enough (public relations) problems with feral cats without this.”
Her reference was to a well-publicized recent flap stirred up by an animal rights activist about how best to care for the cat population on the Hawthorne Race Course backstretch.
The bankruptcy filing likely would be made a day or two before Christmas.
Commissioner Robert Schiewe Jr. suggested the board schedule a special meeting Jan. 29 to review the court’s reaction to the filing and determine whether to allow the harness tracks to race during the first days of 2015. However, an informal poll suggested it might be difficult to find a quorum for a meeting between Christmas and the end of the year. IRB chairman William Berry left the possibility of a meeting open but unresolved.
The board did act to ensure that all payments owed by the harness tracks to other racing entities through Dec. 19 will be paid by wire transfer no later than Dec. 22. Lacking that settlement, some obligations that normally would be on a 15-day cycle could have been subject to court jurisdiction and delayed, reduced, or eliminated. Hawthorne president Tim Carey, who insisted on the special payment schedule, said his track could have been on the hook for $350,000 to $500,000 without the action.
About one-third of Illinois pari-mutuel wagering is conducted through Balmoral, Maywood, and their affiliated entities, IRB staff estimated, and a shutdown of harness racing ultimately also would impact purse earnings accumulated by Thoroughbred tracks through intertrack wagering.
Stirring up unpleasant memories of Blagojevich also is the last thing the racing industry needs as it prepares for yet another effort to win legislative support for a gaming bill that would permit slot machines at tracks—or another form or alternative funding.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89211/court-decision-threatens-illinois-racing#ixzz3M83jgT1D

WVRC Eyes Independent Review of Collision

The West Virginia Racing Commission, as part of an investigation into a head-on collision during a Dec. 13 race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, said it will look into funding to pay for an independent review of the incident.

The collision was triggered when a horse threw its rider heading into the second turn of a three-turn race, turned and ran the opposite way along the rail up the homestretch, and collided with another horse on the far turn. The warning system, which includes a siren and lights at four points on the racetrack, wasn’t activated.

Warning System Not Used Before Charles Town Collision

WVRC executive director John Myers held a conference call Dec. 15 with Charles Town officials and stewards at the track.

“We all agreed several things need to be improved,” Myers said during a Dec. 16 racing commission meeting. He mentioned improved communication, including with outriders at Charles Town. “We’re gathering film, and the investigation is continuing.”

The stewards apparently were watching the race on monitors and didn’t see the riderless horse running back up the homestretch, and therefore didn’t contact the clocker and ask him to activate the warning system. The two offices are located about 20 feet apart but connected by a narrow porch on the Charles Town roof.

WVRC member Bill Phillips said he supports any review of the incident but, given the fact the people involved are employed by either the racing commission or the racetrack, he recommended hiring “an outside party to take a look at what happened and give us a report.”

WVRC chairman Jack Rossi agreed but said Myers must first examine the cost of an independent investigation.

“I would like to see (a review) of the system we have in place, and what the protocol is for activating the system,” Rossi said. “If we have the system in place, what was the root of the breakdown (in communication)? If the appropriate systems aren’t in place, we have to get them in place.”

Jockeys’ Guild national manager Terry Meyocks, who attended the racing commission meeting, said the Guild wants to be involved in any review of the incident and related safety protocol.

Phillips also suggested the WVRC ask the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance to visit Charles Town and Mountaineer Racetrack, Casino & Resort to perform a “safety review.” He called for the tracks to be certified under the alliance code of standards.

Neither track has undergone the review. Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns Charles Town, has said the company has its own safety standards its employs at company racing facilities.

Charles Town has agreed to install an activation button for the warning system in the stewards’ rooftop office though Erich Zimny, director of racing operations for the track, said the existing protocol of the stewards instructing the clocker to activate the system has worked fine for years. He also said he’s not sure a button in the stewards’ office “would have prevented what happened Saturday night” because the racing officials didn’t spot the horse running the wrong way on the track after it dumped its rider.

The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance code of standards includes a requirement for on-track warning systems. When asked if the code either requires or suggests as a best practice that at least one steward watch every race live to have a view of the entire racetrack, alliance executive director Mike Ziegler referred the question to the Racetrack Officials Accreditation Program; the alliance does require that stewards at accredited tracks be accredited by ROAP.

ROAP officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on details of standard practices for stewards.

But during a ROAP presentation at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming on a day in the life of the stewards, conducted just two days before the Charles Town accident,  it was noted that one steward is responsible for watching the race live.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89200/wvrc-eyes-independent-review-of-collision#ixzz3M83SzJVL

Warning System Not Used Before CT Collision

An investigation into a head-on collision that led to the euthanization of a horse after a race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Dec. 13 didn’t result from malfunction of an on-track warning system, officials said Dec. 15.

The incident occurred in the fourth race at the West Virginia track after Winningaswespeak, ridden by Carlos Marrero, clipped heels and lost the rider as the field made its way into the second of three turns in the 1 1/16-mile race. Winningaswespeak then turned in the other direction and ran along the rail through the stretch and around the first turn before colliding with Frisky Dixie, who was ridden by Carlos Castro.

Charles Town officials said neither jockey was seriously injured, though Shuler Stables’ Frisky Dixie was euthanized from collision-related injuries.

Charles Town director of racing operations Erich Zimny said Dec. 15 that track officials met with West Virginia Racing Commission state steward Danny Wright and the clocker who times the races. He also exchanged emails with track announcer Jeff Cernik, who attempted to warn the jockeys via the public address system during the race.

The issue centers on the fact the track’s warning system wasn’t activated during the race.

“We have an alert system,” Zimny said. “It’s functional, with sirens and lights. It wasn’t broken Saturday night. Up until two years ago we only had an audible warning system, but on our own volition installed warning lights on the four corners of the track. Both are activated from the same spot.”

The warning system is activated by the clocker—but only if told to do so by the stewards, who are located about 20 feet away in another room on the roof of Charles Town.

“The clocker was told by the stewards (that the signal to activate the warning system) must come from them,” Zimny said. “He was just following stewards’ orders. Our guys did what they were told.”

The stewards apparently didn’t see the loose horse run back up the homestretch and into the path of the oncoming horses, or when they did, it was too late. Zimny said a WVRC official indicated the stewards told him they should have been more proactive and have requested Charles Town place a warning-system activation mechanism in their booth.

“We’re not fully done vetting the system,” Zimny said. “And we will install (the mechanism) in the stewards’ room. But right now I cannot say that would have prevented what happened Saturday night.”

In a statement release Monday by parent company Penn National Gaming Inc., vice president of racing Chris McErlean said: “At no time during the incident in question were any of our personnel directed by the state racing stewards to deploy our warning system or to announce to the riders to pull their horses up, as has been the standard operating procedure during live racing. The safety of the jockeys and horses are of paramount concern to Charles Town Races and in conjunction with the state racing stewards, we will be reviewing our policies again in light of what could have been an avoidable accident to ensure we can adequately address a similar situation going forward.

“We take the matter very seriously and the accident warning systems in place at all of our facilities meet or exceed the industry standards.”

The matter could be discussed at the Dec. 16 WVRC meeting.

The stewards declared the fourth race the evening of Dec. 13 a no-contest, and all wagers were refunded. The official chart of the race has been removed from Equibase, and the race replay no longer appears at the Charles Town website.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89187/warning-system-not-used-before-ct-collision#ixzz3M3WkEJxR

Bayerd Bounces Back in Springboard Mile

 

Bayerd Bounces Back in Springboard Mile

Photo: Dustin Orona Photography – Bayerd wins the Remington Springboard Mile

All out in the drive, Bayerd reached the wire a head in front of Shotgun Kowboy in a terrific renewal of the $255,000 Remington Springboard Mile (VIDEO) in the mud Dec. 14 on closing night of the 2014 Remington Park meet.

Two-year-olds Bayerd and Shotgun Kowboy battled each other three times in stakes at the meet, with Bayerd winning the Kip Deville Sept. 28 and Shotgun Kowboy coming back to take the Clever Trevor Nov. 7. After overtaking Bayerd by a length in the seven-furlong Clever Trevor, Shotgun Kowboy was the slight favorite over Bayerd and third-place finisher High Noon Rider, all sent off at odds of 5-2 in the Springboard Mile.

The rubber match of their rivalry turned out to be the best. Bayerd, owned by Clark Brewster and trained by Steve Asmussen, was ridden to victory by substitute Ramon Vazquez, the leading jockey at the Oklahoma City track this year. Vazquez picked up the mount on the son of Speightstown   from Ricardo Santana Jr.

It was quite a Sunday evening at Remington, which was socked by rain, hail, and the threat of a tornado, but the program went off without a hitch except for a slight delay due to the hail storm, which quickly passed.

Bayerd, who was on the pace throughout, and Shotgun Kowboy, coming from behind under Luis Quinonez, were both making their first start at the one-mile distance, which was completed in a time of 1:37.26 over a sealed track. It was 4 1/2 lengths back to New York shipper High Noon Rider, who gave way in the final furlong after battling for the lead with Bayerd.

“(Bayerd) trained really nice,” Asmussen said afterward. “He and Shotgun Kowboy are both good horses. Ramon gave him a really good trip today. We’re really proud of his race. Hopefully, there’s several more in his future.”

Leading early in the short run to the first turn, Bayerd was overtaken by 20-1 Supermason on the bend, and he tracked that one through quarter-mile splits of :23.22, :46.09, and 1:11.54. Supermason, who led by as much as five lengths, weakened on the final turn and was passed by Bayerd, who bumped a couple of times in upper stretch with the rallying High Noon Rider, ridden by Joe Bravo.

Shotgun Kowboy, meantime, was well back in the field of 11 before working his way into contention on the outside of rivals rounding the far turn. Bayerd led High Noon Rider narrowly through the stretch with Shotgun Kowboy steadily advancing on their outside. Bayerd appeared to be in command at the sixteenth pole after putting away High Noon Rider, but was getting weary in deep stretch while digging down for something extra and reaching the line just in time.

Bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables out of the Cherokee Run mare Cherokee Jewel, Bayerd was purchased for $75,000 from consignor Cary Frommer, agent, at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale this spring.

With his third win in five starts, Bayerd increased his earnings to $282,100.

Under equal weights of 120 pounds, the winner paid $7, $4.20, and $3.60, keying a $16.40 exacta with C. R. Tout’s Shotgun Kowboy, who returned $3.80 and $2.80. High Noon Rider, trained by George Weaver for R. A. Hill Stable, paid $3.80 to show.

Phenomenal Phoenix was fourth, followed by Sky Full of Stars, Hillbilly Style, Supermason, Super Stroke, It’ll Be Fine, Conbradulations, and Runaway Bling.

There were two $100,000 stakes preceding the Springboard Mile.

Honey’s Ryan, ridden by Cliff Berry for trainer Karl Broberg, won the She’s All in Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths for partners Rusty Taylor, Elaine Holliday, Jerry and Margaret Davis, and Mike Walker.

The 3-year-old daughter of Student Council  , bred in Kentucky by University of Kentucky out of the Orientate   mare Run Carrie Run, paid $12.40 to win while running one mile and 70 yards in 1:41.09. Diva’s Diamond was second, with Blue Violet third. Flashy American, the 11-10 favorite, finished ninth.

The  Trapeze, for 2-year-old fillies, went to 11-1 shot Zooming, ridden by Lindey Wade for Carl R. Moore Management and trainer Bret Calhoun. Perfect Fit finished second, one length behind the winner, with Sweet Opportunity third. Lovely Maria, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth.

Zooming ran the one-mile distance in 1:38.22 and paid $25.20 to win. Bred in Texas by Charles and David Yochum, the dark bay filly is by After Market out of Dance Studio, by Bertrando.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89183/bayerd-bounces-back-in-springboard-mile#ixzz3LxtLtGZu

‘All Legal Options’ on Table in NYTHA Dispute

 

'All Legal Options' on Table in NYTHA Dispute

Photo: Keeneland Photo – Terry Finley

An attorney for Terry Finley said “all legal options” are on the table in his client’s quest to seek a new election for president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

“Short of a fair election where no one is disenfranchised and everyone gets the opportunity to vote, Terry keeps all his legal options on the table,” said attorney Andrew Mollica Dec. 12.

Mollica said Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, had filed an official protest of the election, pursuant to the NYTHA’s bylaws. He said, however, it is uncertain what the process is as far as the decision to hold another election, or how that would be carried out.

In the Dec. 1 voting, Finley lost to trainer Richard Violette, NYTHA president since 2008, by a vote of 625-611. Finley said he subsequently heard from many NYTHA members who told him they did not receive ballots or received them too late to be able to vote.

Finley said in his protest that he estimates as many as 1,000 eligible voters may have been disenfranchised because the membership roster used to distribute the ballots was neither current nor accurate.

“This protest is based on numerous violations of the bylaws of NYTHA as they relate to fair elections and improper actions taken by officers and staff of NYTHA which compromised the election’s fairness and denied many members the right to vote,” Finley said in his protest letter.

He added that a bylaw provision states the NYTHA’s secretary-treasurer “shall maintain on a current basis the association’s membership roster.”

In his letter, Finley contends that by not having a current membership roster and not providing him with access to the roster, “the Violette administration ‘held the cards’ to the voting process by not keeping a current record of the entire population of eligible voters, secreting the names it did maintain, and more readily forwarding ballots to those members it deemed favorable to the incumbents.”

Efforts to reach NYTHA executive director Jim Gallagher and legal counsel Alan Foreman were unsuccessful.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89158/all-legal-options-on-table-in-nytha-dispute#ixzz3LkNoN0ot

Symposium: Racing Apps Need to Connect

 

Symposium: Racing Apps Need to Connect

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

As wagering outlets, racetracks, and other industry entities enter the mobile market, it is important they listen to customers’ needs and take care to make sure new apps address those wishes.

That was a core idea during a panel presentation Dec. 10, in Tucson, Ariz., during the Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming sponsored by the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program.

Hai Ng, a technology expert and partner at Neomancer LLC, said most companies know that thorough testing of a new app with potential customers is needed but not all of them take the right approach in the process. He said some companies become too attached to features they want to emphasize.

“You want to listen with open ears,” Ng said. “If you’re looking for a particular result, you’ll hear that. But you want to be really listening to what the customers are saying and deliver that.”

Eamonn Toland, president of bookmaker Paddy Power, said creating an app that’s easy to use and has the features that customers desire requires a lot of effort. But it can make the difference between an app that connects with people and one that is ignored.

“The answer is it takes a hell of a lot of work to make it easy to use,” Toland said.

Toland added that apps have to be tailored to the platforms on which they’ll be used.

“There’s a significant difference between an IPhone and IPad,” Toland said. “You need focus groups, to see how people use them.”

As an example of a feature customers love, Toland said Paddy Power has an app feature that allows players to wave their mobile device at a televised soccer game and wagering options for that event immediately come up.

The payoff of that work is a platform that reaches the younger demographic racing craves. Toland said while users range in age from 18 to seniors, players in their late 20s or early 30s are the sweet spot. He said this demographic expects quality, easy-to-use mobile options for wagering.

“So much of their life is online right now, to not have the ability to bet within arm’s length would just be insane,” Toland said.

More than 50% of Paddy Power’s business now comes from mobile platforms. U.S. outlets also have enjoyed some success with mobile applications. For the six months ending Oct. 31, TVG enjoyed a 15% spike in handle that it largely attributed to use of its mobile device.

Ng added that a strong mobile platform is critical today.

“If you don’t have mobile, there’s an entire segment of the population that you’ll never reach,” Ng said.

Mobile game developer John O’Neill of Spark Plug Games said when companies work with a third party to develop an app, or even work within a company to develop an app, it’s important to have people that understand what the company is looking for from the app and what the technology people are doing as the process moves forward.

“You should at least have one or two people that are experts on the technology to serve as a conduit,” O’Neill said.

Ng said those experts are especially important with third party developers.

“There are people out there who will take you for a ride, no question. But there also are people out there that will do a great job,” Ng said. “You have to manage without micro-managing.”

“I think the dilemma most people have is where to begin,” Toland said, noting that even with third party, close supervision by Paddy Power was required throughout the process.

Once an app is completely ready to launch, the panel said because of the younger customers, it’s important to keep that demographic in mind when marketing the app.

“Embrace snark, they respond to that,” moderator Vin Narayanan, editor-in-chief of Casino City said of the demographic. “It doesn’t come easily, the initial reaction is that it’s not going to work. But it’s the market you’re trying to reach. They’re snarky about things they shouldn’t be snarky about, and snarky about silly things they should be snarky about.”

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/89134/symposium-racing-apps-need-to-connect#ixzz3LYCWOFYr